Monthly Archives: July 2011

Today…some good news

Today has been a good day for me. It is such a blessed day because I found two good news worth mentioning.  First is the Taiwan-PH agreement on the development of e-vehicles, that’s better than fighting over territorial claims over the spartlys:

PH, Taiwan seal tie-up for e-vehicle dev’t

Posted on 16 Jul 2011 at 10:22pm

Senator Edgardo J. Angara has revealed that the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) have signed a letter of intent for Electric Vehicle (EV) development during the 17th Philippine-Taiwan Joint Economic Conference (JEC) recently.

Teco and Meco expressed their desire to work closely to establish a cooperative framework for the facilitation of EV development in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is in the forefront of developing EV technology. Last year, the Taiwanese government announced a seven-year scheme for developing its EV industry, earmarking around $309.2 million in investments for the program.

“This cooperation is a step in the right direction. Taiwan is an emerging global EV leader. They have a great model on which we can base our own policy and business framework for the development of a Green Transport System,” said Angara.

Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (Comste), pointed out that switching the public transport system to EV’s would lessen air pollution and ease the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Comste conceptualized the Green Transport Initiative under the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) and is implementing it in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP).

“The Green Transport System that we envision involves using renewable energy sources like geothermal, solar, wind or biofuels to charge electric public utility vehicles like e-jeepneys, e-trikes and hybrid vehicles,” said Angara.

Cagayan de Oro recently ordered its first e-jeepney which will be used for shuttling services in the Pueblo de Oro Business Park. About 70 e-jeepneys are presently used in public transport in different parts of the country.

Angara noted that Comste is looking into the viability of an EV industry in the Philippines. Comste is developing EV standards together with the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (Evap).

The standards will be essential in formulating effective EV policies. Comste has also been working to establish an EV testing facility in the country.

Following the JEC, Comste and Evap have been invited to the Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC) in Taiwan.

“Learning from the successes and failures of the Taiwanese EV industry could really help us in developing our own. Our country has so much potential to become an Asean leader in producing public utility electric vehicles,” said Angara.

Today I had spoken with someone from MERALCO our electric utilitycompany and he mentioned that they are interested in joining the CDM initiative or at least quantifying their GHG emissions, they have SF6 or sulfur hexafluoride which is one hell of a potent greenhouse gas…that’s really good news.  More than the usual anticipation of the hate-filled SONA of PNoynoyplaboy, I read news on the development of a monorail prototype in UP Diliman:

DOST to officially start work on UP monorail

Posted on 17 Jul 2011 at 11:37pm

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which has acquired new-found influence under the Aquino administration, is set to lay on Monday the foundation for an ambitious monorail project that will run around the sprawling Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines (UP).

DOST secretary Mario Montejo, a brother-in-law of Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa,said in December 2010 that the monorail, called Automated Guideway Transit or AGT, was expected to be operational in June this year.

It turned out that Montejo was referring to the groundbreaking ceremony, which he, along with UP president Alfredo Pascual and Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista is expected to attend at the corner of Jacinto Lakandula streets in UP Diliman.

The event will also be sealed by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement by Montejo, Pascual, DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center director Arthur Lucas Cruz, UP Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development director Amelia Guevara, and UP vice president for development Elvira Zamora.

The AGT, developed by the DOST initially for UP Diliman, is a rail-based local mass transit similar to the MRT and LRT, except that it runs on a single rail which acts as its sole support and guideway.

“We are coming up with a local AGT to address the severe lack of less expensive and environmentally sustainable technology alternatives,” said Montejo, who is an alumnus of the UP College of Engineering.

“The AGT is developed to show Filipino ingenuity and capability in engineering and as a model for adoption in other urban areas in the Philippines.”

DOST assistant secretary Robert Dizon, the designated project leader, said that President Noynoy Aquino wants the AGT project to be tested thoroughly. “The President wants quality to be translated to commuter safety and transport reliability,” he said.

A group of engineers from UP Diliman are working with DOST on this project. The prototype will have two 60-passenger coaches to run on a 56-meter test track in the campus.

I just hope the usual Filipino Ningas Cogon attitude would not happen in the process because I will be watching and monitoring these projects….mind you!


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Filed under Renewable Energy and Biofuels, Sustainability

Is there a problem with a Gold Standard?

How do you start explaining sustainable development?

In my recent trip to the Province of Palawan, I had proposed to the local sustainable development council to now move on to Carbon Credits. As per the staff, they do have difficulty explaining sustainable development to their government officials, moreso the concept of carbon credits.

There’s so much missed opportunities like a pot of gold that no one seems to care about because the pot is full of soot and no one wiuld bother about the gold so no one would get the Gold.
The City of Puerto Princesa has declared that the city is carbon neutral. However, not everyone in that city understands the concept of carbon neutrality. As a rule, any carbon claims must first be verified.

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Filed under Climate Change, GHG Mitigation Effort, Sustainability

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Ganito na lang ang buhay, umaasa na balang araw may mranasang ganito

Jun 25, 2011

Singapore launches Electric Vehicle test bed

By Branden Ho

An electric vehicle plugged into a Bosch charging station. Bosch, as the EV Taskforce’s first charging service provider, is committed to running Singapore’s EV charging station infrastructure until December 2016. –PHOTO: BOSCH

SINGAPORE may finally adopt electric vehicles in a big way, depending on what the Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce finds in their latest project – the electric vehicle test-bed.

The inter-agency Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce, led by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA), announced the launch of the project on Saturday. Its objective is to test and gauge different EV prototypes and charging technologies in the local urban environment.

The launch will bring with it five charging stations, five Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, four smart electric drive Daimler vehicles and the first batch of participants comprising LTA, Ministry of Manpower, Mitsubishi Corporation and Senoko Energy. More facilities will be added as the programme progresses.

The test bed will be in place from now till the end of 2013, to provide an adequate period for data collection.

EV users’ charging and driving patterns, among other data, will be logged to gain a better understanding of EV technologies, business models and user preferences.

Mr Chew Hock Yong, chief executive of LTA, said that the test-bed ‘marks a significant milestone for land transport in Singapore’ and will eventually lead to a ‘better living environment in Singapore’.

As part of my daily grind I would ride a jeepney halfway to the bus station since there is no other transport alternative from where I live. It is noticeable that jeepneys are a bunch of clunkers that is a hazard to people’s health and the environment, yet it remains a symbol of the Filipinos…for backwardness


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Filed under Pollution Control, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

The Fast Food Experience

Let me quote this recent article:

By MICHAEL CASEY Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—McDonald’s is fueling its trucks in the United Arab Emirates with oil from its own vats.

Dubai-based Neutral Fuels announced Sunday that it had reached a deal to convert used vegetable oil from McDonald’s outlets in the UAE into 100 percent biodiesel to power the fast food giant’s delivery trucks across the Gulf country.

It started testing the biodiesel last year and started producing it for McDonald’s at the end of May.

“This one in particular is exciting because I don’t think anyone has really tried that hard to sell this sort of fuel back to the Arabian Peninsula,” said Karl W. Feilder, the chairman of the Neutral Group. “It’s the first time we are doing it with a fuel that burns 50 percent cleaner than normal diesel and has a lower carbon footprint because it’s coming from a waste vegetable product.”

McDonald’s said the biodiesel initiative was part of larger plans in the UAE, which is flush with crude oil but is also trying to stake its claim as a leader in renewable energy. Among other things, McDonald’s is a partner in one of the country’s main environmental watchdogs, the Emirates Environment Group.

“McDonald’s UAE has demonstrated a passionate and long-term commitment to investing in environmental initiatives,” said Rafic Fakih, managing director and partner of McDonald’s UAE.

Neutral has capacity to produce 1 million liters (264,172 gallons) of biodiesel a year in its Dubai facility and can double that amount if it increases the number of shifts. It would not say how much oil will be produced by McDonald’s more than 80 outlets in the Emirates, but says it’s enough to power the chain’s vehicles in the country.

It is not the first time McDonald’s has run its vehicles on biodiesel, having done so in England and most recently Austria. But it would be the first time any company has tried to do it in the Middle East, a region where the incentives are lower to use alternatives fuel because oil is so cheap and plentiful.

The McDonald’s trucks are also being fueled with pure biodiesel—not a mix as seen in many parts of Europe and the United States.

“One of reason to do that is prove to people that you don’t have to modify your vehicle to run biodiesel,” Feilder said. “The technology is so good and McDonald’s oil of such good quality that we can produce biodiesel for the same price that you can buy normal diesel on the street.”

The fact the McDonald’s announcement is happening in the United Arab Emirates is no accident.

The UAE has taken a lead in recent years among Gulf nations in attempting promote renewable energy in the region and tackle global warming. Abu Dhabi is home to Masdar, a government-run company focused on low-emission technologies that is building a futuristic clean-energy city in the desert outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

It also is base for the International Renewable Energy Agency, a new organization established to promote renewable energy such as wind, solar and other nonpolluting energy sources.

“Things have changed a lot in the last couple of years,” Feilder said. “There is more money spent in this country than any Gulf country on sustainable initiatives and the educational process required for bringing this knowledge to the masses.”

Read more:McDonald’s to run Emirates trucks on own oil – The Denver Post
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Filed under Environmental Audit, Fast Food Greenwash, Pollution Control, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

Renewable Debate: China adds 18.9 GW of new wind power capacity in 2010

The Philippines is currently disturbed by the recent developments in the South China Sea.  Ships from the Chinese of the People’s Liberation Army Navy have been intruding parts of areas obviously part of the Philippine Territory. It is quite frustrating that such intrusions have caught off-guard the Philippines’ weak democracy.  But I kinda like China, I have been in that country for quite some time and I do appreciate the progress people in the cities are experiencing and their appreciation and implementation of land use planning, a somewhat Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which no one seems to realize what the heck I am talking about. They do have a number of human rights violation, but similar human rights violations have been occurring in my own country.  The Philippines is so Demo-Crazy!

Anyway, there is a debate on subsidies for the renewable energy sector, the current Trade Secretary has pointed out that subsidizing the renewable energy sector (wind, solar, biomass even hydro) will further increase the price of electricity because of the high installation cost of “new” or “emergent” technology and the need for investors to recover their investments. I am just wondering why leaders are considering these technologies emergent when countries have already invested on it and are now reaping the benefits.

China’s installation of 18.9GW capacity of new wind power is good news not only for China but for the world.  First is because of the substitution effect from fossil fuel sources and this high demand by China and their push for producing turbines domestically drives the installation costs lower, it is good news, as of the end of 2010,  50% of total installed wind power capacity is in China!

The point is, we are holding back, we need energy yet we hold ourselves back because we don’t fully understand the consequences, because there is limited knowledge and information.

What is our goal in energy security? Anyway, we do have a problem with territorial security more than anything…but the population is growing…and we again are stumbling into road blocks that are further complicated.

There truly is a systemic problem in decision making, competence is limited given the limited knowledge and even efforts to block knowledge from being built and being fully used.  So we just end up becoming bloggers…and make sattires out of the dumbness.

Climate change is knocking on our doors and yet we do not have the capacity to recognize that it is indeed climate change.


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